Cuba Embargo, Rights Record

Gaddis Smith's analysis ("The Reciprocal Obsession of Castro and Washington," Opinion, March 3) was on the mark except for one notable omission.

For the last 30-plus years the United States has had an economic embargo against the Castro regime. During this time, members of the Cuban American community in the U.S. have done their best to undermine that embargo by sending or smuggling money, medicine and other embargoed goods to their family members on the island.

If journalists would finally challenge the Cuban American community on their duplicity, we could finally have a real debate about the ultimate goal of U.S. government intervention on behalf of these Cuban Americans who want political and economic control of the island.

NANCY GRANDE

Lakewood

* The only thing worse than the Cuban state-ordered murder of innocent American citizens is holding the deplorable view that somehow these people deserved to be killed or even that they, the U.S., or our policies are responsible for their slaughter (letters, Feb. 29).

The facts that planes from Brothers to the Rescue had dropped leaflets over Havana on previous occasions and even their alleged straying into Cuban airspace are completely irrelevant. International law is clear that force is not to be used against civilian aircraft, period. There are other ways to force planes out of one's airspace, if in fact they were there.

Now, to hear the cries of the left in this country proclaiming that it is the fault of the United States, and for one reader to suggest that we actually reward this barbaric and cowardly act by initiating "friendly and peaceful dialogue" and lifting the embargo on them is a shameful recommendation that is void of dignity and respect for the lives of fellow American citizens.

MARIO H. LOPEZ

Los Angeles

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